Relationship Consultant Anniston AL
Tami Jenkins, ACSW, LCSW, PIP
GILBERT & BROWN Counseling and Consulting Services, LLC
DAVID E. MYERS, PHD
You know the old saw about how married couples end up looking alike? Well, according to a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, they often start to feel the same way, too.Researchers at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, asked 60 couples to participate in a series of emotion-laden tasks. They watched films that were particularly sad or funny, and were directed to perform embarrassing acts in front of other people. Afterwards, they talked about their responses while researchers analyzed videotapes of their facial expressions.
In a second round of tests several months later, the researchers were surprised at how similiar the couples’ reactions had become. (This time they only looked at 38 couples; the rest had broken up.) Emotional convergence can indicate a congenial future, says lead author and behavioral scientist Cameron Anderson, regardless of whether both people are cheerful or morose. “When people respond to things the same way, they understand each other better,” he says.But there’s a downside, too, especially for those who tend to be attracted to their emotional opposite. The dominant person exerts the greater pull, so if you’re a moderately happy Hannah married to a congenitally gloomy Gus, your outlook could suffer over time. The message is clear. If you’re looking for a lift, find a strong, upbeat companion—and let the sun shine in.
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